Using ArcGIS for AS fieldwork

You are going to use a website called to create a map to first show the places where your data collection took place and eventually to present some of your data. GIS stands for geographical information systems and allows us to understand the relationship between various data sets and location.

How to use ArcGIS

  1. If you are writing your assessment on the Population study use this file. If you are concentrating on the River investigation download and save this one.
  2. Before you can use this file you must convert it to a ‘CSV’ file. Go to ‘File> Save As’ and then select ‘CSV Delimited’ from the file type menu.
  3. Go to
  4. Click on make a map
  5. Now click on Add in the top left hand corner and then ‘add layer from file’ from the drop down menu.
  6. Now select the CSV file you created earlier.
  7. Now click import layer.
  8. You will have to select the longitude and latitude options from the drop down menu.
  9. A map should now have been completed. If you have any problems see Mr Turner

You now have a map that shows the locations where the data was collected. If you want to you can play around with the change the symbol option from the drop down menu that appears when you put the cursor over the name of your file on the left of the screen.

You can take a print screen of this and add it directly into your project with a description explaining your sampling procedure. Make sure that you include the legend, scale and add a description. You will also need to manually add a North pointer.

Data Presentation

Now you are going to use ArcGIS map to present your data sets.

Follow these steps.

  1. Open the Excel CSV file that you made earlier.
  2. You need to enter one of the numerical data sets into the the columns and save it.
  3. Following the steps from earlier create a new map.
  4. If you hold your cursor over the ticked cell on the contents pane on the left hand side an arrow will appear.
  5. Click on the arrow.
  6. Select change symbols
  7. Then select size
  8. Then from the drop down ‘To show’ menu select one of the variables.
  9. Press apply and the size of your dots on the map will change to fit the data that has been collected.
  10. To improve your map alter the class size and change the symbol until you get something you are happy with.
  11. Finally print screen and add this to a word document  with an appropriate heading. Again remember to include the legend, scale and add a North pointer manually.

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